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  B-17E "San Antonio Rose II" Serial Number 41-2447  
5th AF
19th BG
40th BS

Aircraft History
Built by Boeing at Seattle. Constructor Number 2258. Delivered to the U.S. Army Air Force (USAAF) as B-17E Flying Fortress serial number 41-2447.

Wartime History
Assigned to the 19th Bombardment Group (19th BG), 40th Bombardment Squadron (40th BS). Nicknamed "San Antonio Rose II".

On February 19, 1942 took off from Darwin piloted by Lt. Clarance L. McPherson leading a flight of P-40E Warhawks from the 33rd Pursuit Squadron (Provisional) but due to bad weather, the fighters were unable to proceed and this B-17 proceeded alone to Koepang Airfield on Timor.

On March 16, 1942 took off from Garbutt Field at Townsville piloted by Lt. Bostrom on a flight to Batchelor Field near Darwin as one of four B-17s to stage for a mission evacuate General Douglas MacArthur from Del Monte Airfield on Mindanao. Originally, B-17E 41-2434 was selected for MacArthur but when the engines were unable to start, this bomber was selected instead.

On March 17, 1942 at 2:00pm took off from Batchelor Field near Darwin piloted by by Lt. Frank Bostrom with co-pilot Lt. Edward Teats with B-17E "Why Don't We Do This More Often" 41-2429 and B-17E 41-2408 and flew northward to Del Monte Airfield.

On March 18, 1942 after midnight, this bomber was the first to land followed by the other two bombers and were immediately refueled and embarked passengers. Boarding this bomber was General Douglas MacArthur, his wife and son and nurse plus a few senior staffers boarded. Starting the engines to take off, the no. 1 engine failed to start, tail gunner Pfc Herbert Wheatley and another crew member hand cranked the engine and on the second try it finally started. The bombers departed around 2:30am and reached Batchelor Field near Darwin around 10:30am.

Royce Mission
On April 11, 1942 at 11:00am took off from Batchelor Field near Darwin piloted by Lt. Frank P. Bostrom with General Ralph Royce aboard as one of three B-17s with nine B-25C Mitchells on the Royce Mission on a flight 1,500 miles northward arriving in the afternoon at Del Monte Airfield on Mindanao in the Philippines. During the flight, this B-17 had one engine inoperative. After landing, ground crews worked to locate and install a replacement engine.

On April 12, 1942 in the morning, this B-17 did not participate due to the inoperative engine. mission as an a replacement engine was located and installed. Instead, pilot Bostrom flew aboard B-17E 41-2421 with Lt. David G. Rawls.

On April 13, 1942 spotted by F1M2 Pete parked at Del Monte Airfield and destroyed by a 60kg bomb. Afterwards, the crew of this bomber were loaded aboard the other two B-17s for the flight back to Batchelor Field near Darwin. Officially written off October 31, 1944.

USAF Serial Number Search Results - B-17E Fortress 41-2447
"2447 (19th BG, 40th BS, "San Antonio Rose II") picked up Gen. MacArthur and family in Philippines Mar 25, 1942. Destroyed on ground Del Monte Field, PI Apr 12, 1942 during Royce mission. Formally w/o Oct 31, 1944."
Fortress Against The Sun (2001) pages 156-157 (March 16, 1942), 164-165 (April 11-13, 1942 Royce Mission), 385 (41-2447)
Darwin's Air War (Revised Edition) (2011) page 31
On Wings We Conquer (1990) pages 104 (MacArthur rescue), 177 (A-13: MacArthur Rescue, A-14: Royce Mission)
Doomed At The Start (1995) mentions this loss
Fortress Against The Sun (2001) pages 164–166 (Royce Mission), 385 (41-2447)

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Last Updated
April 24, 2021


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